Report: Booger McFarland, Joe Tessitore Won't Return to 'Monday Night Football'May 9, 2020
Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland will reportedly not return as the announce team for NFL Monday Night Football on ESPN in 2020.
According to Richard Deitsch of The Athletic, Tessitore and McFarland will still have "prominent roles" at ESPN and their replacements will be found internally.
Tessitore was the MNF play-by-play announcer in both 2018 and 2019, while McFarland was a sideline analyst in 2018 before joining the booth in 2019. They replaced Sean McDonough and Jon Gruden, respectively, the latter of whom left MNF to become head coach of the Raiders following the 2017 season.
Jason Witten was the primary MNF football analyst in 2018 alongside Tessitore with McFarland on the sideline, but when Witten returned to play for the Dallas Cowboys in 2019, ESPN moved forward with Tessitore and McFarland as a duo.
The MNF football announce team has faced criticism since Gruden's departure, and the removal of Tessitore and McFarland comes as little surprise since ESPN was known to be exploring an upgrade.
Per Andrew Marchand of the New York Post in March, ESPN pushed hard to hire former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning as the MNF color commentator for 2020, but he turned down the offer.
Marchand also reported that ESPN wanted to pair Manning with veteran play-by-play man Al Michaels, but NBC turned down ESPN's request to speak to Michaels. ESPN also explored hiring former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo as well, per Marchand, but he re-signed with CBS on a 10-year, $180 million deal.
With Manning, Romo and Michaels all out of the question, ESPN may explore some of its in-house options. The most intriguing among them may be the college football broadcast duo of Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit if the pair would be interested in making the switch.
Longtime ESPN employee Steve Levy could also be an option as a play-by-play man, while former NFL players Dan Orlovsky and Louis Riddick stand out as possibilities for the analyst role.